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A List and a Letter

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"Stop this. Just stop it. Did you make a list?!"

"Of what?"

"Everything, Sherlock. Everything you’ve taken."

He could only roll his eyes at that. Of course he made the bloody list. It became more of a second nature by now. He did feel tempted - from time to time - to write something outrageous on it, but somehow the honesty always won.

He told himself it was because the truth hurt Mycroft the most.

Yes, that was it.

"No, it’s not that. He goes into a sort of trance. I’ve seen him do it."

Oh. Oh, John.

Oh, my sweet, sweet, innocent friend.

Oh, how disappointed you are going to be with me.

Mycroft was, of course, explaining the whole history behind "the list" as Sherlock stirred himself. He dug into his pocket, fingers clumsily closing around the piece of paper there and flicking it up, towards John's hand, half-frozen in air, but at the last moment he managed to stop the movement.

Wrong type of paper.

Why would I have two pieces of paper in the pocket that was empty in the morning while I put only one there?

He dug out the second - or rather, the first - little scrap and handed it over to Mycroft, who opened it and sighed in an exaggerated way - but Sherlock was already far away and the small white rectangle in his hand had his whole attention. Slowly, with effort, he unfolded it and tried to focus on the slanted letters that covered it.

I don't know where you are going.

I don't know when I will see you again.

I don't know so many things.

As you remind me constantly.

His eyes shot up to where his brother was sitting with his face in his hands and John had picked up the list and was staring at it, his lips pressed into a thin line, head shaking

Mary was showing off. She was always showing off. Trying to play one-up with his brother.

Hah.

If she ever came close to catching up with him, she'd be out of the picture faster than you can say 'small-calibre rifle', so whatever ground she thought she had gained, Mycroft must have allowed her to have - for his own purposes.

He lowered his gaze to where his fingers were clutching the letter.

Because it was a letter.

In John's handwriting.

(Surprisingly legible for a doctor.)

I can be sure only of a few things in my life.

And loving you is one of them.

Scoff now, have at it.

You can't take back reading it.

I can't take back writing it.

I love you, you madman.

Please, try to come back.

John must have slipped it into his pocket when they were having their Very Manly And British Hug down on the tarmac. His doctor was learning, apparently, from some very interesting people, considering the greatest detective of England hadn't felt the letter being left there.

Although the fact that he hadn't noticed it could have been attributed to the amount of drugs in said detective's system. He had probably missed a lot of interesting details of what had happened on that airstrip.

"So she's dead then, for a hundred years," John said, but it sounded as if he was speaking through a bag of wool. "What were you... Sherlock?"

He shook himself awake.

"Yes. Dead," he swallowed, but everything was at the same sluggish and uncoordinated. "I almost had it. I almost..." he rubbed his face. "I was there, I saw it happen. I have to go back!"

"No," John's hand on his wrist. Fingers sneaking around the joint, probing at the pulse point. "Too thready. Arrhythmia. Probably your heart reacting to the whole combination - and an ugly cocktail it was. You have to focus and stay with me, Sherlock. Mycroft, ambulance, now."

"Can't you...?"

"Do I look like I carry a ventilator or defibrillator with me? If his breathing fails, we'll be down to mouth-to-mouth and this can't be sustained for long! Now, Sherlock, sit down and let me take care of you!"

He didn't feel the piece of paper fall from his suddenly weak grasp, but it must have, as John leaned down and was now pressing something into his breast pocket.

"Focus now, Sherlock," he ordered in a low voice, a slight growl in the subtext of that request. "Stay with us. If I have to use CPR on you, you'll be ever so sorry. So will I, but I won't hesitate to break your ribs, if necessary."

"Please don't," he murmured, his head lolling back onto the seat rest as he tried to press the side of his face into the smooth, cool leather. "No... No need..."

"Shite," John's hand was on his neck. "Hyperthermic. He's burning up. Where's that bloody ambulance?!"

"Just arriving," Mycroft's voice was remote, strange, sounds elongated in all the wrong places. "Now, brother mine," his nose seemed to be dangerously close to his eye and a whiny voice in the back of Sherlock's mind supplied him with a random comment about Picasso. "You will go to the hospital with the good doctor, while I take Mrs Watson back home. I've given him all the necessary access and authorisation to make decisions in your treatment."

"B-but... I need to go... back..."

"No, you don't," a strong hand on his jawline. "All you need to do is to hold it together for a few more minutes and then we're going straight to the hospital."

There were waves of goosebumps washing down his body, making his hair stand on end suddenly, annoyingly. He could feel every tiniest hair, down to the follicle, and each of them itched. His skin was on fire - at the same time feverish and freezing - and the only place that felt good was where John's palm was stroking his neck comfortingly. He focused on that feeling to the exclusion of all others and melted into that touch, groaning softly.

Ah. So good.

John sighed - relief? - as they heard a pair of legs thumping up the short stairway.

"Doctor Watson? The ambulance is here. Do you need us to help you with the patient?"

"No, I'll manage," John answered slowly, his hand still lingering on Sherlock's cheek. "You make sure you have everything ready. Be prepared for a respiratory or heart failure, we have no idea what kind of a dose he took. I'm bringing him out now."

Before John could remove his hand - his hard, steady, dependable hand - Sherlock lolled his head closer, nestling his cheek and mouth into it and watched John's face go through a series of fast-switching expressions as he pressed his lips in a clumsy kiss against the golden skin.

"Your note," he began bravely, but immediately got lost in the glorious feeling of John's fingers curling around his jaw and fell silent for a few heartbeats.

"A-ah?"

"I've read it," he whispered finally. "And... I think I can... reciprocate the sentiment..."

"Morphine or cocaine?"

"What did you say?"

...

"Holmes? What was it today, morphine or cocaine?"